Creativity comes from everywhere

I attended the annual Guardian Advertising Summit last week in London. This year’s subject matter was “Making Sense of Disruption. Building for a Profitable Future” and there were many inspirational speakers from both Agencies and Brands giving their insights and views.  Some recurring themes of the day were:

  • The importance of Collaboration and the belief that creativity can come from anywhere.
  • The fact that Content can be – and now is – created not just by the creative advertising agencies.
  • The importance of Content and the quality of Content and “The Big Idea” which needs to work in a device specific way across all offline and digital media.
  • The importance of data and knowing how to successfully interrogate the increasing available amounts of complex data
  • How consumers are now influencing brands via social media and shaping advertising and the brands themselves

Jonathan Mildenhall VP Global Advertising Strategy and Content Excellence for Coca Cola shared Coke’s creative vision for the brand between now and 2020.   “All advertisers need a lot more content so that they can keep the engagement with consumers fresh and relevant, because of the 24/7 connectivity. If you’re going to be successful around the world, you have to have fat and fertile ideas at the core.” Coca Cola now no longer relies on traditional agencies for ideas and content and part of the vision of company is to see Coca Cola “as one of the largest global creators of talent”.

In addition we were privileged to hear John Winsor the CEO of Victors & Spoils, the first creative advertising agency built on crowd sourcing principles, speak about how their international network of talent creates pitch winning ideas and great advertising campaigns.  I was lucky enough to speak briefly to John after the event about how Victors & Spoils are able curate the best ideas from their collaborative network . As John says “Great ideas come from everywhere”.

Some of my additional favourite quotes from the day are below:

Matias Palm-Jensen, European Chief Innovation Officer, McCann Erickson

Quoting Upton Sinclair, the American author who was born in 1878 “It is difficult to make a man understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”.  Heads of Emerging Technology beware ! [my comment]

Robert Senior CEO Saatchi & Saatchi EMEA & Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon Group (when asked if data is important)

“Yes and I think oxygen is important””

AND Robert again:

“We are all in the talent business”.

The question for many agencies and clientside marketeers is now surely -“but what sort of talent and how do I recognise it?”

In a world where creativity comes from everywhere and so does talent, senior agency people are no longer only  interviewing candidates now performing the same role as they did a few years ago.  The interviewee  may be an expert in technologies and marketing strategies  which simply weren’t around in the interviewer’s past.

Talent spotting has always been an essential part of building a successful agency.  The fact is, it just got a whole lot harder.  And more interesting.


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